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Choosing community college pays off

The general perception of community college is that it’s only there for the broke and unprepared. But, we, the staff of the Navigator News, believe that attending a community college is worth whatever losses we may suffer in the absence of a four-year college experience.

Less intimidating than their larger, four-year counterparts, community colleges provide a comfortable start for students who may doubt their college readiness. They offer an easier and more affordable starting point for a four-year degree. Smaller class sizes and higher availability of one-on-one help can be beneficial for students who want extra feedback. Lake Land boasts a free tutoring center and reachable, helpful professors. While help is accessible, LLC students still get an independent start, as they have the freedom to set up their own schedules and payment plans.

Community colleges are also a great choice for those who still aren’t sure of what they’re doing, or for those training to reenter the workforce. No one wants to pay a university’s price for possibly unnecessary or specialized classes. While most universities promote specific programs, community colleges offer a variety of courses so students have more time to dabble, and more two-year training options. Lake Land offers many two-year tracks, allowing students to complete a degree or certification and enter the workforce quickly.

However, community colleges are not for everyone. It’s certainly not the “college experience” of going away to a world of new faces, with clubs for everything and parties on every block. There is no prestigious name attached to the degree or certification received. The general perception is that community college students chose their college because for some reason, financial or academic, they couldn’t make it into a university. And for some students, that’s the truth. But, that’s exactly what community colleges are there for: preparing students for the next step, even if the next step is uncertain. It’s a great idea to take pre-requisites at a community college to cut costs. The only downfall is that classes don’t always transfer, and sometimes students have to pay to retake classes at the next level.

Regardless of any flaws in the community college system, it has one trump card: money. Students save plenty of cash by choosing a two-year college over a four-year. Not only do students save on classes, Lake Land specifically offers free access to computers, printing, tutoring, and a gym. And, being a community college, students get the opportunity to stay home, cutting living costs.

Obviously, community college isn’t right for everyone. But, a growing number of young people see it as a plausible, helpful, first step in college.

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